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Costa Magica 11/19-26/2006


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So who's going to be the first one to start the trashing of the Costa Magica cruise 11/19-26/2006??? This was our third Costa Cruise and we love Costa, but this one might have changed our opinion. If I had to make excuses, I would say that since the ship just returned from Europe, they did not have their act together for the Caribbean season. If you noticed, most of the food products, condiments, etc. were foreign brands. I have a feeling this may have been why the food was so below average. They could not have possibly had enough time to re-stock with fresh provisions. I don't mind foreign things, in fact I like them, but they did not visit a major port until arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on the day of our cruise, 11/19 since leaving Italy on or about 11/10. Bring it on folks.

Ted

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We were also on that sailing last week and thought the food was EXCEPTIONALLY good, especially in the dining rooms!! In fact, we had taken a cruise 4 years ago on Costa Atlantica and the food on that cruise REALLY was sub-par (so bad that the last night our entire table of eight could not eat any of the main courses and sent them back ordering just baked potatoes for dinner!)... SO we were giving Costa one more chance because we found a last minute deal that was just impossible to resist. We knew to expect that meals in the dining room (where we prefer to eat most of our meals) were going to take two hours or more, and we enjoyed each and every one and there were only occasional lapses in the quality of the service, but none that bothered us much. Costa is great about matching table-mates, I think. There were three couples at our table all about the same ages, and we had a blast getting to know each other. Coincidentally, we had all cruised Costa once before and all agreed that the meals and entertainment were exceptionally good on this cruise. The steaks and lobster that we had at our table were very very good, and the desserts much better than we had on our first Costa cruise. Also, our cabin steward, Danny, was fantastic and we made sure to tip him extra at the end of the week.

Our only complaints were the rainy, cloudy weather (NOT Costa's fault) which caused us to miss one port and have a couple shore excursions cancelled. Also, the embarkation process was the worst that we have ever encountered on any cruise, and we have been on quite a few. Standing in line for over two hours to board was really tiresome, and then right at the end having a family of fifteen cut in front of us (at the request of an embarkation employee) because ONE member of the group was in a wheelchair, was most certainly hard to take. My back was killing me, but I just toughed it out.... However, once we made it on the ship we had a wonderful week! There are really just too many people on ships this large (over 3300), for our taste, but we did have the compensation of truly exceptional entertainment and lots of on-board activities to compensate..plus what we considered to be - WONDERFUL meals!!

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I wish some others that were on Costa magical this week would chime in. The very first thing I will tell you. LET YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY OR BANK KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO BE OUT OF THE COUNTRY. I have been on 7 cruises. I will tell you up front that the first three days I told my husband to quit complaining and lets make the best of our vacation. I am the peace keeper, never losing my cool. I say this to let you know I am not a complainer but there is room for lots of improvement on the Costa. I ended up losing it and crying on this ship. We were in room 8403 balcony and 8407 inside it was dh and two teens 13 and just turned 15. I talked with people that did the cruise in January and said this was awful. I hate to say bad things but I am hoping that this changes for your cruise. I did complain to the administrator as to make the cruise good for others. I think the bottom line is they cut back on staff.

 

There is a slot tournament 20.00 first and 2nd entry, 3rd was free the one I did. the black jack was first 20. 2nd and 3rd 10.00 same thing. Please read your today (some stuff is in very small print I missed a slot tournament because it was listed under Bingo as was the blackjack tournament) So read it all everyday. You can not get cash at the casino on the last day of the cruise. The Today says until 1am your Costa card will work after 1 am it is a cash system (so I went to get cash from the casino 100.00 just so we had cash) I was sent back and forth before I was informed it is their policy to not give cash from the casino Saturday at all. They said Italians use cash. I said Americans use debit visa card. How many of us carry 1,000.

 

There is only on soap dispenser, and the trial size items you get on the other cruises are not there. So bring your razor and everything else you will need. the room Stewart was very nice and will do anything for you. The beds are hard but ask the very first thing for an extra mattress we got one but the kids didn't (they were out). The inside cabin the kids had was back to the elevator and was very warm, we complained about the a/c but seems like they could not get it cool. the elevators were very warm. this stuff does not matter to me but if it does to you. No chocolates on the pillows. No fancy towel animals.

 

Soda cards are not available they offer a drink card for kids 20 drinks for 59.99. If you use it for frozen drinks then its a deal. What upset me was as we got on the lido deck the tea and juice were covered up. your option was coffee, hot tea or milk, we bought the drink things because I did not know there was tea and juice. ( I don't think he head office is aware of this procedure). Please, ask someone to uncover the tea and juice. They don't have fruit punch as Holland America and carnival.

 

the 25.00 restaurant had a great atmosphere and everything was great, they let kids order chicken strips from the dining room (our table mate at dinner took his son). Don't do the Tuscan steak it was very thin and no flavor. Depends on what you like as far as food. I liked something's and didn't like others. The lido deck has most of what the dining room has. The pizza was not the best but hey its a cruise not a pizzeria. Kids say the food on the ship is ok, they have had better. All the seafood seemed to be real fishy. I was very disappointed with the pasta dishes on the lido deck. For an Italian ship I expected good pasta.

 

Don't stay up just for the magnificent buffet after waiting in line for over an hour and doing the galley tour we got some fruit, cheese and cookies. I am a carbs nut so this was not what I was looking forward to(this is nothing compared to the other buffets I have seen)

 

I did not notice a strong smoke smell, but I smoke again after 4 yrs being quit. I did ask the room Stewart to spray freshener in our room because I don't like to smell or have my clothes smell. but to be honest there are not a lot of smokers left. I play roulette and there were a few occasions where two of us at the table smoked. I took turns and would not smoke unless I knew he was not. Most all areas are non smoking. Unless I missed something, I had to find a place to smoke.

 

The teen activities, Oh NO, I am going here as much as I don't know what to say. I brought my 15 dd and 13 ds. they wont do a Costa cruise again. they didn't like it. There were only 3 activities listed in the Today (the daily paper). I guess if you go to the surf board there are additional activities ( we didn't find this out till Thursday). One night they had a dance, I am not overly strict or a prude (let me know if you allow your kids). They had a grinding line, boy girl, boy, girl with the girl grinding into the boy. My dd did not participate but my 13 year old soon did because he got to dance between two girls 16 and 17. what 13 year old boy would refuse a 16 year old rubbing on him.

 

Carol Stead

Bright Minds

Independent Consultant

813-677-9082

Carolstead@aol.com

http://www.Brightminds.us/web/carolstead

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If you were on the ship you would see what I mean. I realize they can re-stock the ship in no time, but I don't think they did, or not completely anyway. The Health Department was on the ship by about 8:00AM when we returned to Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday and they closed all the restaurants and the Buffet. Most of us didn't get breakfast. I'm not trashing the cruise, we had a blast even though the weather caused problems with 2 of the port calls. Missed Grand Cayman altogether and it rained in Ocho Rios. We enjoy being on the ship as much as getting off. We just heard a lot of complaints during the cruise from various people. This was our 11th cruise as a family and we always make the best of it no matter what. By the way, the food in the Cafe Vicenza, the pay restaurant on deck 11 was exquisite. And we loved the Pizza at Bellagio. I'm glad I got my cash on Friday night at the casino based on briteminds information. No there still isn't such a thing as a bad cruise. Just gotta report the facts.

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If you were on the ship you would see what I mean. I realize they can re-stock the ship in no time, but I don't think they did, or not completely anyway. The Health Department was on the ship by about 8:00AM when we returned to Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday and they closed all the restaurants and the Buffet. Most of us didn't get breakfast. I'm not trashing the cruise, we had a blast even though the weather caused problems with 2 of the port calls. Missed Grand Cayman altogether and it rained in Ocho Rios. We enjoy being on the ship as much as getting off. We just heard a lot of complaints during the cruise from various people. This was our 11th cruise as a family and we always make the best of it no matter what. By the way, the food in the Cafe Vicenza, the pay restaurant on deck 11 was exquisite. And we loved the Pizza at Bellagio. I'm glad I got my cash on Friday night at the casino based on briteminds information. No there still isn't such a thing as a bad cruise. Just gotta report the facts.

 

 

Guess that is why we had the great servoce in the restaurant on Sunday morning, because so few folks showed up at the scheduled breakfast time!I do not believe that the HEALTH DEPARTMENT closed down the restaurants and buffet on Sunday! If you read the times given in the daily program it clearly states that all meal service will be concluded by 9 AM on the Sunday we arrived back in Fort Lauderdale. After all, disembarkation started at 8 AM that morning and moved right along! Implying that this had something to do with the Health Department shutting thngs down is just not fair! Can you prove it? IF you found somethind else about this IN PRINT then, by all means, please share it here with the rest of us. Rumors and inuendos are just not cricket, in my opinion.

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That's what the dining room manager in Portofino told us after we sat there for 35 minutes without getting coffee or menus. There was a travel Agent from California at our table and she was totally livid. Like I said, I'm just reporting the facts.

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I'm not able to say why they shut down the kitchen. It may have just been for an inspection by the HD. All I know is the manager was very upset and we never did get breakfast. Sorry for any confusion this may be causing you.

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